From critically acclaimed author Laura Bickle (Dark Alchemy) comes the first novel in the Wildlands series, NINE OF STARS. Longmire meets Patricia Brigg's Mercy Thompson in this exciting new series that shows how weird and wonderful the West can truly be.
Winter has always been a deadly season in Temperance, but this time, there’s more to fear than just the cold…
As the daughter of an alchemist, Petra Dee has faced all manner of occult horrors – especially since her arrival in the small town of Temperance, Wyoming. But she can’t explain the creature now stalking the backcountry of Yellowstone, butchering wolves and leaving only their skins behind in the snow. Rumors surface of the return of Skinflint Jack, a nineteenth-century wraith that kills in fulfillment of an ancient bargain.
The new sheriff in town, Owen Rutherford, isn’t helping matters. He’s a dangerously haunted man on the trail of both an unsolved case and a fresh kill - a bizarre murder leading him right to Petra’s partner Gabriel. And while Gabe once had little to fear from the mortal world, he’s all too human now. This time, when violence hits close to home, there are no magical solutions.
It’s up to Petra and her coyote sidekick Sig to get ahead of both Owen and the unnatural being hunting them all – before the trail turns deathly cold.
About the Author
Nicol Zanzarella is an Earphones Award-winning audiobook narrator and a theater and television actress. She has appeared in productions of Richard III, Romeo and Juliet, The Winter's Tale, Cousin Bette, Danny and the Deep Blue Sea, and many others.
Laura Bickle grew up in rural Ohio, reading entirely too many comic books out loud to her favorite Wonder Woman doll. After graduating with an MA in Sociology-Criminology from Ohio State University and an MLIS in Library Science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, she patrolled the stacks at the public library and worked with data systems in criminal justice. She now dreams up stories about the monsters under the stairs. Her work has been included in the ALA's Amelia Bloomer Project 2013 reading list and the State Library of Ohio's Choose to Read Ohio reading list for 2015-2016. More information about Laura's work can be found at www.laurabickle.com.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Ms. Bickle grows more with every book she writes, and her strong point is becoming her character development. Whether two legged, four legged, feathered, or otherwise, and whether good guy or villain, you get to know the characters on a level that makes you think about them in your off time. That being said, the pacing is good. Many books tend to pack in non-stop action that leaves you breathless and doesn't always agree with your willing suspension of disbelief. You won't find that here. The story unfolds with enough chances for you and the characters to catch a breath and recollect and understand but it doesn't slow you down. Narrative balance and a well written sense of compassion in her characters are her best qualities thus far. At least once in every book of hers I read, I am brought to tears. This book is the third in a series, so I recommend you start with "Dark Alchemy," and then read "Mercury Retrograde."
I wanted to read this book solely because of it's cover. I'm a person that will read the book because of the cover and this time I unfortunately didn't see that this is a series. So this is the third book and I highly recommend to all other readers that they read the first two books first. I had some throuble at the beginning of the story to get the hang of it all, since we have two worlds that the characters tell the story in or it relates to what happened there in the past. Also, the prologue is told by a wolf that belongs to the Nine of Stars wolf pack, so that was definitely confusing to me. But the rest is also told by Petra and other characters. After I found my way into the story it all started to make more sense. This is a fantasy/crime/bit of romance story. There is this 'supernatural evil' that this pack makes an enemy of and now they are in big trouble. Also, since the events that took place in the previous books we have another story beside this one. I love how a book can tell more than one story. That definitely makes up for an interesting story as a whole. Petra is a very smart woman and that sometimes leads her into trouble. But this time her body is not on her side as well but that doesn't stop her to investigate the new killings. I also liked Gabriel's character. He's lost a lot in his other magical world. Being now 'less' is taking some use to but at the end he does the right thing. I'm not so sure how I feel about Owen's character. He's like a dog that once smells blood, there's no stopping him. All in all I liked this story. The plot is quite interesting and fresh but I don't like the ending. The cliffy is not my favourite part in a book. I want to know how the story unfolds and aslo, will Gabriel manage to escape or not. This is definitely one great read!